The First HelloRating: 4 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

Shawn has just inherited a grand home from an aunt he never knew. He thinks if he can sell the house, he and his drug-addicted sister can stop living in their car and get their lives together. His life has been incredibly hard and now he has been having flashes of other lives that begin to consume him so completely he thinks he is losing his mind. There is always a man, the same man, yet he can’t see his face.

Raleigh is the potential buyer of the house and recognizes Shawn instantly. Raleigh tries to convince Shawn that he is reliving memories, their memories, of their past lives together. Raleigh tells Shawn he has been searching for him throughout this life, and although Raleigh offers Shawn intense peace, Shawn refuses to believe him. But, Raleigh will not give up on Shawn, because they are destined to walk through all of eternity together.

Give me a book on reincarnation and I cannot stay away, and that is exactly what this book offers. We catch up with Shawn initially in present day. But, he is an old soul and there is no true sense of time frame. Shawn is fairly resigned to the way life has treated him, almost as if he’s done it before. He is incredibly protective of his sister and he is a decent guy just trying to get by. So when an offer is made on the house he has inherited, he agrees to stay on in the adjoining cottage to assist with the needed home repairs. The interested home buyer, Raleigh, just happens to have been looking for Shawn for his entire life. This time around, although Shawn is intensely attracted to Raleigh, he does not recognize him and Raleigh cannot understand how that is so. There are times when Raleigh, as well as another secondary character, are just waiting for Shawn to catch on to what they know to be absolute. And why Shawn cannot remember when everyone else can may just be within his control after all, and it offers a bit of a twist on the reincarnation aspect.

This story is at times beautifully crafted and full of descriptive prose. The book alternates between present day and flashbacks and, as the story progresses, the flashbacks become more frequent. The flashbacks are used more as clues for Shawn to regain his memory and less about the details of the past lives they have lived. It is always clear that we are being taken to another time, but the flashbacks are short in length and are offered in glimpses of another place and another time. This story is on the shorter end for a novel and the flashbacks do take up a considerable portion of the book in an attempt to bring in a full picture of Shawn and Raleigh’s connection. At times, how well they knew each other is well conveyed with love, sweetness, tenderness, fear, and emotional pain, while having a dream-like quality. But other times, I needed more in both the past and present day as the story is not about their everyday life and there are not many finer details offered. We do not get a back story on Raleigh for his present day life, we don’t learn much of their former lives other than the eternal love the men have for each other, and there is no larger plot line here. The story is about their love throughout the centuries. A love that never ends, yet continually begins anew.

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